Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shah Bobonis Stops the Show

Despite having his scheduled Rad Rock MMA fight cancelled and pushed back, pro fighter Shah Bobonis was able to pick up another bout for Fight Time 4 - MMA Heavyweight Explosion on April 1, 2011.

During the fight, Shah was able to secure a first round TKO victory via doctor stoppage. Shah should have a busy summer, next fighting in a Combate Extremo 145 pound championship bout on May 21st against Manuel "Manix" Gallerta.

MMA Blaster: What did you know about your opponent going into your last bout?

Bobonis: My last fight was against Chris Thorne from American Top Team. I knew he was a Florida state champion wrestler and former Marine. I figured he would come out and try to make it a grappling match. To my surprise he started to stand up and trade with me, needless to say, the bout went better than I thought it would.

MMA Blaster: How did the fight play out? What did you do to stop the fight?

Bobonis: After a few exchanges I slipped a two punch combination of his and grabbed my Thai clinch. The first knee was to the body and I heard him let out a grunt as he bent over. The I landed clean knees to the middle of his face, one of which opened a huge cut. That's when he started to go to his wrestling, trying to pin me against the fence to get a take down. But, he was eating knees to the body and shoulder butts the entire time. As we circled to the middle of the cage in the over under clinch, I was still landing knees to the body.

As one of the knees landed, he grabbed my leg and tried to go for a single leg takedown. I grabbed a standing Kimura and nearly ripped his shoulder off. That created a scramble on the floor and Chris ended up in side control. After regaining full guard, he couldn't get off any shots and we were stood up. I ran across the cage and hit him with a flying knee that drove him straight back into the cage. He tried to shoot in after that and sprawled out eating elbows to the side of the head as the bell rung. At the end of the round, the docs came in and stopped the fight due to a cut. That was my second straight win over a ATT opponent.

MMA Blaster: What weight was the fight at?

Bobonis: That fight was at 145 and was the easiest weigh-in of my life. After my fight in Mexico, I'm looking for a catch weight fight at 140, then I'm moving down to 135.

MMA Blaster: Did you try out for TUF? How did that go?

Bobonis: Yes, I did the TUF tryouts. I tapped the guy I grappled with, then I was in the process of tapping him again when he picked me up and slammed me. After we were explicitly told "NO LEG LOCKS AND NO SLAMMING!" I wasn't asked to hit pads after grappling.

MMA Blaster: Why don't you think you didn't get the call to hit pads in the 2nd stage of the tryout?

Bobonis: I don't really know, but I think maybe with a 10-6 record they are looking for guys with less losses. To be honest, I could easily be 10-2 right now. I took a catch weight fight in Costa Rica at 160 pounds, when I was ready to fight at 145 pounds. The promoter said the guy I was supposed to fight missed his flight. I should have just walked away! Me being a idiot, I wanted to fight so I fought the guy at 160 pounds. He is now 8-2 as a pro and holds a title in Costa Rica. I took another fight at 160 on four days notice, not smart. I have two spit decision losses that could have gone either way. But I'm going to keep taking smart fights, get better everyday, and see where my career goes.

MMA Blaster: What are your plans for the near future in MMA? Future fights?

Bobonis: I'm fighting Manuel "Manix" Gallerta for Combate Extremo on May 21st for their 145 pound title in Monterrey, Mexico.

MMA Blaster: Any shout outs? Sponsor mentions?

Bobonis: I want to thank my parents, training partners at FFA and Brawl and Maul for all the support.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Top 10 Men's Strikeforce Fighters Under 205

The MMA world has been flipped upside down with the gigantic mega Zuffa purchase of rival organization Strikeforce. Even though Dana White has said Strikeforce will remain "business as usual" history suggests otherwise. Zuffa has been in a constant flux of attempting to corner the market on the top mixed martial artists in the world.

In December of 2006, Zuffa purchased the WEC, World Extreme Cage Fighting, mainly because of the UFC's then exclusive television deal with Spike. Zuffa was allowed to use the WEC to block rival IFL from appearing on Versus. Next, Zuffa also quickly picked up the WFA, World Fighting Alliance, as a means of acquiring the contracts of Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida.

On March 27, 2007, while riding surging popularity and ppv buys, Zuffa purchased the Pride Fighting Championships, acquiring a variety of top talent. Pride has never held an event since, as the UFC has enjoyed a revenue stream from DVD sales and a Pride "Best of" show on Spike TV. Zuffa picked up Pride fighters such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva in the deal.

In October of 2010, the WEC was folded completely into the UFC. Reed Harris, the former president of the WEC, first ran the WEC as a completely different entity. Scott Coker will essentially be doing the same thing for Strikeforce. Dana White has said that we will see certain fighters from the UFC go to Strikeforce.

That was the same as what happened for fighters deciding to lose weight and make a go of it in the WEC. Fighters like Manny Gamburyan and George Roop went down this route. Alex Karalexis stayed at 155 in his journey through the UFC then the WEC.

One big monkey wrench is Fedor Emelienenko and his management group of M-1. Zuffa has always been adament about their opposition of co-promotion. Fedor and M-1 are a package deal, and odds are he finishes his contract, never to be seen in the UFC.

Who are the best fighters in Strikeforce to look out for? Well, everyone already knows the entrants of the World Grand Prix- Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers, Josh Barnett, Sergei Kharitonov, Andrei Arlovski, Bigfoot Silva and Fedor. I'll run down the top 10 Strikeforce fighters below:

Top 10:

Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez (18-2)- the lightweight Strikeforce champ has high energy takedown machine has quick hands and a stifling ground game. Generally ranked the number 2 lightweight in the world, Melendez has wins over Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shinya Aoki and Clay Guida.
(Melendez pictured)

Nick Diaz (26-7)- the welterweight Strikeforce champ has been using his high velocity unorthodox boxing style to overwhelm his opponents. Mix in upper level BJJ blackbelt skills and you have a 10 fight win streak with 6 TKO's and 3 subs. Diaz has wins over Paul Daley, Hayato Sakurai, Frank Shamrock, Marius Zaromskis and Cyborg Santos.
(Diaz winning via gogoplata over Gomi)

Dan Henderson (27-8)- the current light heavyweight Strikeforce champ and former Pride champion has Olympic level wrestling with a power right hand. Looking more energized at 205 pounds, Henderson has KO'd Rafael Cavalcante and Babalu Sobral in his past two fights. Hendo has wins over Mike Bisping, Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin and Rousimar Palhares.
(Henderson putting away Wanderlei Silva)

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (14-2)- The ADCC champion, 5 time BJJ champion, high level BJJ blackbelt and Judo blackbelt will bring high level grappling to the table. Jacare took the Strikeforce middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Tim Kennedy, and has defended against Robbie Lawler. While also competing in the Dream organization, Jacare has wins over Jason Miller, Zelg Galesic and Joey VillaseƱor.
(Jacare doing the gator)

Gegard Mousasi (30-3)- The final 205 pound champ of Dream, Mousasi is a dynamic kickboxer and ground fighter. Mousasi also won the Dream MW GP and is the former 205 pound Strikeforce champ. Mousasi has wins over Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, Sokoudjou and Babalu Sobral.
(Mousasi putting away Sobral)

Shinya Aoki (26-5)- The submission wizard had some trouble in his only Strikeforce appearance, losing a decision to Gilbert Melendez. He bounced back with wins over Tatsuya Kawajiri and Marcus Aurelio in Dream, before losing an odd bout in the NYE show. Aoki will need to work on his takedowns for a career in the US MMA scene.
(Aoki via triangle/armbar)

Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6)- The dynamic Japanese kickboxer finds his home in Strikeforce with the collapse of the Dream promotion. Going 4-0 in 2009 with wins over JZ Calvancante and Kazunori Yokota, he rebounded from his loss to Aoki with a dominant performance getting a win against Josh Thomson on NYE.
(Kawajiri celebrating Dream victory)

Rafael Cavalcante (10-3)- The big puncher has 9 TKO wins on his resume and is the former champ at 205 pounds. Presenting problems to anyone, Feijao briefly dazed Dan Henderson before losing the bout in the second round. He has wins over King Mo Lawal, Antwain Britt, Travis Galbraith and Miodrag Petkovic.

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (7-1)- King Mo, a former Strikeforce 205 pound champ, seemed poised for greatness with his non-stop athletic wrestling style and accuracy with his striking. However, he has also suffered a serious knee injury, and dropped his latest bout, a third round TKO loss to Rafael Cavalcante. King Mo, who has also fought for Sengoku, has wins over Mark Kerr, Mike Whitehead, Gegard Mousasi and Travis Wiuff.

Tyron "T-Wood" Woodley (8-0)- A former Missouri wrestler, Tyron is one of the most coveted prospects in the Strikeforce line-up. With power takedowns as a forte, his striking has improved with every bout. Woodley has career wins over Tarec Saffiedine, Andre Galvao and Nathan Coy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rev Reigns Supreme at WWFC

Chuck "The Reverend" Grigsby emerged victorious at World War Fighting Championships 2 which took place at the 7 Flags Event Center in Clive, Iowa on April 9, 2011. Grigsby fought battle tested Sean Huffman, who has fought in over 32 MMA bouts, which includes career wins over solid veterans Mike Van Meer, John Halverson, Joey Clark and Dennis Reed.

The fight was Rev's first fight under 205 pounds, contested at a catch weight of 190 pounds. With summer approaching, expect to see Rev keeping a busy schedule while continuing his martial arts journey.

MMA Blaster: How did the fight play out?

Rev: The fight went like everyone told me it would go after I told them about the matchup. It was three rounds with a guy who would not quit and take everything I had. I thought he would go down with the shots he took. I give him a lot of credit for that, he is a warrior. Ironically, it was the perfect fight for me to shake some of the rust off and get some work in.

MMA Blaster: What was the result of the bout?

Ultimately, I won by unanimous decision. My corner men and teammates thought I could have finished the fight earlier. Obviously, I still have some more work to do to put together a complete fight, which I still haven’t done despite attaining my 21st career win.
(Grigsby v. Huffman)

MMA Blaster: How was your first cut to 185? When was the last time you weighed that much? Who helped you get there?

Rev: The weight cut was tough, but achievable. My opponent actually asked for it to be at a 190 catch weight and I felt really good on fight night. But, it was different from my first time that I cut from heavyweight to light heavyweight.

I think the last time I weighed 190, I was junior in high school, bananas. My nutrition and conditioning was guided by Kosama’s meal plan and their 10 week Complete Body Transformation along with my MMA training at New Beginnings MMA Program with my training partners and coaches Josh Neer, Miguel Rios, Elvis Mutapic, Kervin Veasly, Dwayne Cason, and Kisor. They really had me peaking for this fight.
(Rev getting down to 190)

MMA Blaster: What are your plans for the near future in MMA?

Rev: Currently, I have a verbal agreement for a fight with Superior Cage Combat in Vegas next month. Then possibly a fight in Canada in June. I am also tentatively open for the moment for the months after May, and we will get that all sorted out with my management, KO Dynasty this week. That’s the beauty of it for me right now, I am not locked in with an exclusive long term contract with any one promotion. I have more than one option on the table regarding what’s next.

MMA Blaster: Any shout outs? Sponsor mentions?

Rev: I would like to give a shout out to Sean Huffman for taking the fight, when many fighters said they would take the fight but didn’t, for whatever reasons they gave. I have a lot of respect for him. I would also like to thank my family, teammates, friends and fans for the support and sacrifices they made to help me be successful. It means the world to me. I can’t do it without cha! -Rev
(Rev's fight shirt from Respek Fightwear)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Video of the Day - Lacy v. Pemberton

Here is Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy boxing Scott Pemberton in Caesars Tahoe, Nevada on 11/5/05 for the IBF and IBO super middleweight title.

Lacy (25-4 boxing) was recently called out by Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz for a potential boxing bout. Lacy has wins over Peter Manfredo Jr., Rubin Williams, Omar Sheika and James Crawford to go along with his IBF, IBO, WBC Continential Americas, USBA and NABA belts.

Scott Pemberton is the former NABF, IBU and WBA NABO super middleweight title holder ending his career with a 29-5 record.

Fight starts at the 7:30 mark:

Joe Benavidez Reflects on 1st UFC Win

Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV, a friend of MMA Blaster, was recently able to catch up with 135 spark plug wrestler Joe Benavidez (14-2). Joe recently earned a unanimous decision victory at UFC 128 to begin his run in the UFC. Benavidez finished 6-2 in the WEC promotion, notching wins against Jeff Curran, Miguel Torres, Rani Yahya and Wagney Fabiano.

Benavidez explained that Ian Loveland was a little bigger than him and had a better ground game than expected. In regards to the fight being his UFC debut, Benavidez didn't feel any extra nerves, but was excited and inspired to be able to showcase his skills to a bigger crowd.

Benavidez is hoping that the UFC will adopt a 125 pound flyweight as he is ready to drop down in weight. In regards to a potential fight with his coach, training partner and friend Urijah Faber won't be happening any time soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Strikeforce - Diaz and Melendez Shine

The latest Strikeforce show produced plenty of drama and exciting fights. Embracing the recent Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce, announcers Gus Johnson, Mauro Ranallo and Frank Shamrock talked about the UFC in a positive light throughout the broadcast.

In an interview with Ranallo, Scott Coker, president of Strikeforce noted that Zuffa was helping with production and most of all publicity. He stated that we could be seeing superfights between the promotions in 8 months to a year, keep your fingers crossed.

In what was the most entertaining round of MMA action this year, the main event saw Nick Diaz and Paul Daley standing toe to toe, throwing punches in bunches. Diaz seemed to find his range early and often, going for body blows in addition to his stinging jab.

Diaz didn't have it easy though, as Daley found his mark with a big time left hook, sending the Stockton bad boy to the canvas. Daley next fired what seemed like an illegal soccer kick, however the blow landed to the shoulder and not the head. Diaz made his way to his feet, shaking loose the cobwebs.

Diaz would push Daley to the fence and unload, going head body head like the movie the Fighter. Diaz fired a hook and uppercut and the Britsh fighter got wobbly, stumbling to the canvas face first. Diaz followed with a couple more blows, getting the TKO win and retaining his belt.
(Diaz post victory)

The lightweight title fight was not nearly as back and forth, as Gilbert Melendez ran roughshot over Japanese powerhouse Tatsuya Kawajiri. Melendez seemed to land everything he threw, from punches to power knee strikes. After a failed takedown attempt, Melendez got top position and rained down a flurry of elbows and punches to stop the action at 3:14 of the very first round.
(Melendez post victory)

In yet another horrible effort at judging in MMA, Gegard Mousasi got hosed in fighting to a draw with Keith Jardine. In the first round, Mousasi got the better of the stand-up battle, while Jardine got a couple takedowns. During one, Mousasi grazed Jardine with an illegal upkick, one point was taken away from Mousasi.

The second and third rounds saw Jardine get worked over from strikes. The third round was a clear 10-8 round in my book for Mousasi. When you land nearly all your strikes, have your opponent retreating, nearly finish your opponent with a submission, and get a takedown, you win the round 10-8. If an MMA judge isn't going to award 10-8 rounds they should be released.

In the first televised bout, Shinya Aoki picked up his first win on American soil with a dominant display over Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm. With Beerbohm looking for the clinch, Aoki obliged, earning a trip takedown. With Beerbohm sensing danger, he got to his knees, but Aoki earned back control. Aoki looked to sink a rear naked choke, but Beerbohm wouldn't let him get sink it. So Aoki cranked the neck to the right eventually drawing the tapout.

Full Results:

Nick Diaz def Paul Daley via TKO (strikes) R1, 4:57
Gilbert Melendez def Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO (strikes) - R1, 3:14
Gegard Mousasi and Keith Jardine - maj draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Shinya Aoki def Lyle Beerbohm via sub (neck crank) R1, 1:32
Robert Peralta def Hiroyuki Takaya via split dec
Virgil Swicker def Brett Albee via TKO (strikes) R1, 1:46
Joe Duarte def Saad Awad via sub (armbar) R2, 2:45
Herman Terrado def A.J. Matthews via TKO (punches) R1, 4:16
Rolando Perez def Edgar Cardenas via unanimous dec
Casey Ryan def Paul Song via sub (triangle) R1, 1:39

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spotlight - Easy Canvas is a is a web based business allowing customers to convert any picture to a custom canvas. You can take your greatest family, vacation, athletic and other pictures and turn them into works of art.

The Easy Canvas Prints website is easy to use, with numerous options to create your custom canvas. After uploading your photo, you customize your border and can touch up your image. You can even make convert your image to black and white for that old school feel.

Easy Canvas Prints uses quality materials and printing processes in the creation of your personalized canvas. They also have excellent shipping as your goods arrive very quickly. If you aren't happy with your purchase, they guarantee to make it right.

I had a picture of the clouds overlooking Lake Michigan converted to a 11 X 14 canvas. The quality of the print is astounding. It is hanging in my office right now. I'd recommend using a high resolution photograph to have converted.

Video of the Day - Machida v. McDonald

Here is Lyoto Machida against K-1 kickboxing legend Michael McDonald from K-1 Hero's which took place on 3/14/04. Lyoto faces Randy Couture at UFC 129.

*You don't see many forearm chokes in MMA.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Video of the Day - Aoki v. Hironaka

Here is Shinya Aoki fighting Kuniyoshi Hironaka from Shooto 2005 which took place on 11/6/05 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Aoki defeated Lyle Beerbohm via neck crank at Strikeforce - Diaz v. Daley.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Video of the Day - Kawajiri v. Bow

Here is Tatsuya Kawajiri fighting Ryan Bow in Shooto which occured on 12/14/03 in Chiba, Japan.

Kawajiri fights Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight title at Strikeforce - Diaz v. Daley.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Video of the Day - Thompson v. Denes

Here is Nick "The Goat" Thompson fighting Dustin Denes at BoDog Fight - Costa Rica Combat which took place on 2/18/07 at an undisclosed beach in Cost Rica.

Thompson (38-13) will next fight Ben Askren at this weekends Bellator 40 in Newkirk, Oklahoma, airing live on MTV 2. Thompson has fought in the UFC, Sengoku, Strikeforce, Elite XC and various Midwestern promotions during his 7 year career.

Denes (12-4) has not fought since this fight, probably retiring from MMA competition. Denes, an ATT member and BJJ blackbelt, had solid wins over Thompson, Rory Singer, Eric Schafer and Pat Healy in his 6 year pro career.

BoDog Fight had a strange run from 8/22/06 to 11/30/07, holding fights in Vancouver Canada, Russia and Costa Rica. Founded as a part of the gambling website by Calvin Ayre, it was rumored to have lost over 30 million in its brief run.

Bellator 40 Line-up:


Champ Ben Askren v. Nick Thompson
Jay Hieron v. Brent Weedman (WW Tourney Bout)
Michael Chandler v. Llyod Woodard (LW Tourney Bout)


Nate James v. Tyler Stinson
Josh Burns v. Eric Prindle

UFC Primetime Episodes 1 and 2

Here are the first two episodes of UFC Primetime - St. Pierre v. Shields, which the UFC has put on youtube to promote the epic match-up.

The fight will take place at UFC 129 on April 30, 2011, and are expected to shatter North American gate and attendance records. The PPV numbers should also be off the charts.

Here is the line-up for UFC 129:


Champ Georges St. Pierre v. Jake Shields
Champ Jose Aldo v. Mark Hominick
Jason Brilz v. Vladimir Matyushenko
Randy Couture v. Lyoto Machida
Mark Bocek v. Ben Henderson


Nate Diaz v. Rory MacDonald
Jake Ellenberger v. Sean Pierson


Claude Patrick v. Daniel Roberts
Ivan Menjivar v. Charlie Valencia
Jason MacDonald v. Ryan Jensen
John Makdessi v. Kyle Watson
Pablo Garza v. Yves Jabouin

Video of the Day - Mann v. Miller

Here is Ronnie Mann fighting Jordan Miller in Cage Rage 24 on 12/1/07 in London, England.

Mann (18-2) will fight this weekend on the main card of Bellator 42 against Josh Arocho.

*Fight starts at the 3 minute mark.

Bellator 42 takes place at Concho, Oklahoma in the Lucky Star Casino, airing on MTV2. Two semifinal bouts of the 205 pound LHW tournament will be featured on the card.


Richard Hale vs. D.J. Linderman - LHW Semi
Josh Arocho vs. Ronnie Mann
Tim Carpenter vs. Christian M'Pumbu - LHW Semi
Luiz "Betao" Nogueira vs. Jerod Spoon


Owen Evinger vs. Brandon Shelton
Chris Bell vs. Jared Hess
Shane Howell vs. Mark Oshiro
Chris Guillen vs. Mark Holata

Friday, April 1, 2011

Urijah Faber Reflecting on his Win

In the interview below, conducted of friend of MMA Blaster, Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV, Urijah Faber reflects on his most recent win over Eddie Wineland at UFC 128.

Faber discusses how Roy Jones has influenced his fighting style, with head movement, footwork and being fast. Urijah did not expect Wineland to want to stay in the clinch that much.

Rumor has it that Urijah Faber will coach the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter against Dominck Cruz, with the two pairing up for a title fight after the show.

Video of the Day - Jardine v. Rahnavardi

Here is the pro MMA debut of Keith Jardine, fighting Amir Rahnavardi in Gladiator Challenge 5 - Rumble on the Rock, which took place on 8/19/01 in Denver, Colorado.

Jardine has replaced Mike Kyle to fight Gegard Mousasi this Saturday at Strikeforce - Diaz v. Daley.

Video of the Day - Schaub v. Madsen

Here is Brendan Schaub fighting Jon Madsen from the TUF 10 semi-final. Schaub is coming off a win over Mirco Cro Cop. Madsen saw his four fight win streak stopped by losing to Mike Russow.